Entrepreneurial Sciences in Cancer Award

A core mission of MUSC Hollings Cancer Center is to discover and translate new products, paradigms, and processes that positively impact the lives of cancer patients. For new products (therapeutics, diagnostic tools, etc.), entrepreneurship and the commercialization process are critical for achieving that ultimate goal of clinical translation. In support of this objective and Hollings' initiative to support entrepreneurial science, the purpose of the Entrepreneurial Sciences in Cancer Award is to stimulate cancer discoveries that have high potential for commercial development and translation.

Purpose and Overview | Eligibility | Evaluation | Awardees

Entrepreneurial Sciences Award

Letters of intent are due on April 1 and applications are due on May 15, 2024.

Purpose and Overview

Hollings and the MUSC Office of Innovation will jointly fund projects up to $50,000. Project aims must be directed toward the creation of new intellectual property (IP) or strengthening of existing IP. Specific aims are anticipated to include activities such as medicinal chemistry lead optimization or antibody discovery services with approved external CROs to create new IP. In the case of more mature projects, aims may encompass safety pharmacology studies, PK/PD studies, efficacy studies or other experiments with clear milestone driven outcomes. Other specific aims may include the advancement of non-drug related products, such as devices, biomarker tests, biologics, and cellular therapies.

Review criteria include a Path to Commercialization section, outlining entrepreneurial plans such as start-up company formation with evidence of involvement from the Zucker Institute for Innovation Commercialization, SBIR/STTR grant submissions, industry partnering and licensing, or other strategies for translation through commercialization. Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of internal and external reviewers and scored based on scientific merit, patient need/potential impact, and strength of commercial opportunity and likelihood for product development that will lead to clinical translation. For more information or questions regarding the Hollings Entrepreneurial Sciences in Cancer Award, please contact Mary Shipp-Tabor (shipptab@musc.edu).


  • Proposed research must be cancer relevant.
  • All Hollings full and affiliate members are eligible to apply.
  • There can be NO overlap with the recently released IDEA Therapeutics Grant RFA that is sponsored by the MUSC Office of Innovation.
  • All awarded PI’s and co-I’s are encouraged to participate as a registered rider or virtual rider in the annual LOWVELO bike ride event.


Each application will be assigned to internal and external reviewers who have substantial expertise in the evaluation of cancer research and commercialization grants.

Review criteria include:

  • Likelihood the research will generate IP (e.g., patents).
  • Path to Commercialization section must be included, outlining the milestone that the Entrepreneurial Sciences in Cancer Award will achieve and the next milestone that will follow. Other important information includes plans for follow-on funding, plans for start-up company formation or engagement with existing companies, pursuit of SBIR/STTR funding, and status of discussions with FRD. Standard NIH criteria will be evaluated (Significance, Innovation, Approach and Investigative Team) along with the aforementioned Path to Commercialization section.